Canada Research Chair in Youth Suicide Prevention (2020)

Youth Suicide a Growing Crisis Despite Preventive Efforts

Suicide claims 800 000 lives globally each year, and there are many more people who
attempt or think about suicide. While suicide is a leading cause of mortality across all
age groups, the Mental Health Commission of Canada and the World Health
Organization recognizes youth suicide as a growing concern. This is because, suicide
rates have increased sharply over the last decade especially among girls and young
women, with more young Canadians seeking hospital help for suicide attempts. Suicide
is the second cause of death among youth in Canada. Adolescence has been identified
as a crucial period for suicide prevention as mental illnesses and suicidal behaviors
occur at higher rates than in other periods of life.

Canadian Research Chair Goals

This Canada Research Chair aims to better understand how and why suicide risk
emerges during youth in order to better inform suicide and mental health prevention
strategies.

Methodology

Our research is based on large epidemiologically representative samples followed up since their birth from Québec (Quebec Longitudinal Study of Child Development, Quebec Longitudinal Study of Kindergarten Children) Canada (National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth), and Europe (National Child Development Study, Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children), in addition to administrative data and clinically depressed patients enrolled in our walking against depression randomized-controlled trial. Through the Quebec Network on Suicide and Related Mood Disorders (RQSHA) genotyping platform our research also takes the advantage of linked genetic data with a range of variable of interest to explore gene and environment interactions.

Impact

Ultimately, the team hopes to save lives lost prematurely due to suicide and also help young people bounce back and achieve successful transitions to adult life.

We are grateful to the following past and present funding agencies:


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